Been a good run these past few days. A lot of poetry, friends, and driving.
Wednesday night Kafe Kerouac was packed as the Win and You're In slam went down. Teams from Cleveland, Detroit and two from Columbus went head to head. I'm not sure about the scoring, I was busy keeping time, but Cleveland won with some solid poems.
Again, I've seen the place crowded before, with people on stage sitting, but this was a serious standing room only crowd, and it was amazing!
Friday night's First Draft had Columbus' own Rose Smith doing a feature of all new work.
A couple of powerful poems about a father trying to keep his children fed and about how Obama needs to tighten up really moved me. Great work.
I did a new piece after a one word prompt Scott Woods gave me back in November. It's called Gaythiest and I thought it went over very well.
Later the was a white guy (stay with me, there's a reason I'm calling his skin color) who none of us had never seen hanging around. He paid his admission, got on the list. When he took the stage he simply started taking, no paper, about hospitals, emergency rooms then he dropped the N-bomb. N-please to be a bit more specific. It was some weird unfunny Seinfeldian routine that ended with him saying if you say you are suicidal in a hospital emergency room you will be admitted. And he was done.
The applause was uncomfortable as he left the room. Questions were raised. He did come back, which was good considering the topic of his poem. Suicidal thoughts are not to be laughed off.
I was talking to Scott about this afterward. In my five years of going to WB I've only heard the N word a handful of times, never used by a white guy. And we talked about how WB definitely uses racial humor as part of the act, we do not do racial slurs. Big difference. You never know what the night will bring.
Also during this time we saw the film A Town Called Panic a silly animated film from Belgium. Simply put, a cowboy, Indian, and horse have an adventure. Here's a short of theirs which may, or may not explain what this is about.
It's not a long film at 75 minutes, but I giggled a lot, and that's hard for me to do these days.
Saturday was a long day. Started with me headed to the junkyard to try and harvest a couple of small parts for my car. Went into the yard with a phillips head screwdriver and hope. Took me some time to find the Subarus. Walked by the sad Volvos and a long line of damaged Beetles, which was where they were behind. Found a trashed, older Outback, there were no Legacys that I could fine, and opened the hatchback. I was looking for a clip for the curtain, which was tough to get out and a lock for the rear seat to move it up and down.
Turns out, only one of the items, the seat lock, fit.
The tragedy was that my sunglasses were missing. They clip on to my frames with magnets. I had the screwdriver and sunglasses in my inside coat pocket. Somehow, when I took the screwdriver out, the sunglasses were attached and went flying.
Went back in the Subaru area, and thanks to St. Anthony the sunglasses were right on the ground, easily seen.
After this stress it was off for coffee at Cup O' Joe in Bexley where I sat with the iPod Touch, updating and updating as Everton took Chelsea to penalties in their FA Cup match, and won! Happy morning!
After watching my son swim it was time to get the car ready for the trip to Cincinnati. This was a test for the Subaru as it was the first long drive I have taken with it.
We were joined by our friend B-Dazzle, who did a craft project with my wife during the drive down.
It was an Army of Amys and one of them stared at me the whole drive down. I think there's one left in the back of the wagon.
Out first stop was Jungle Jim's in Fairfield. We've been here before, but not B-Dazzle. Out main objective was the IRN-Bru, which was, to our delight, available in 12 packs. We bought one of those while my Scottish Wife tossed candy and crisps into the cart. I almost picked up a can of haggis.
Picked up a few beverages including, the national drink of Austria.
After Jungle Jim's it was time to head to Cincinnati proper. Thanks to B-Dazzle's GPS we arrived with little trouble.
By this time we were a bit hungry. Sure, we had plenty of IRN-Bru, but we needed hot food. The place across the street from where we parked was closed, but my wife spotted a beer light about a block away. Turns out it was a bar and grill called Arnold's.
Immediately upon entering I knew we found the right spot. Reminded me of Ulrich's and McSorley's. This was an old school place (since 1859) in a building that has been standing since 1948 and it did not disappoint. Good food, good beer and friendly service. If we're in downtown Cincinnati again, this is the place to go.
We walked the two blocks to the Blue Wisp for the other reason for the road trip, the Whirlwind Company, Brisn S. David, Mike McGee, Mindy Nettifee and Jon Sands, a group of touring poets.
We immediately met three other Columbus poets who made the trip down and Jon Sands. Jon took a table from the back of the room and moved it to the front, which was where we sat the rest of the night. Great people, great poetry family.
I had never heard of Mindy before this tour and was completely gobsmacked by a poem she wrote about her father called Tremelo. I do not buy as much merchandise as I should, but I bought the book the poem is in.
It was good to meet Brian and Mindy and reconnect with Mike (who I had not seen since Berkeley) and Jon. On the drive home under an extremely bright moon I thought how lucky I am to have such great, talented friends, and to be a small part of the poetry community locally and nationally.